by Tershia de Klerk
My late husband and I got married shortly after becoming re-born Christians. To paint a picture of who my late husband was – He was a real man’s man; Big-built and a biker; he was known to be fearless. He had gone to the SA Air Force and was a well-known, and respected, police reservist – He was given the nickname, “Robocop”, by his fellow reservists.
I felt very safe with him and my parents used to often say that they were quite peaceful whenever I was with him. He was also quite a gentleman towards me – he always opened doors for me; stood up at the table when I came to sit down, or when I got up; He always pulled out the chair for me and always spoke to me respectfully.
My world revolved around him. Then the day came when I discovered his use of Pornography. That was the day that felt like my entire world was stripped from me. The emotions I felt were almost crippling and my heart felt like it broke into a million pieces. As a wife, a friend and a lover, I felt cheated, deceived and rejected. All quite natural feelings when found in such circumstances.
My first reaction towards this was anger, confrontation and fighting – not a reaction that is constructive though. I soon realised that his Pornography use had become an addiction. His continually return to it, was a clear indication. Even when he was not looking for it, there would often be something that would trigger it and he would fall back into it again.
God took my brokenness, and my realisation, that even the person who “carries one on a silver platter”, can fall and hurt us. Although the hurt caused is not deliberate. Loved ones can hurt and disappoint us over and over again in life. It is part of life’s journey.
I then only, truly, began being transparent and real in my relationship with God. I searched the Scriptures intensely and purposefully. My relationship with Him grew much deeper and I came to understand what it is to truly love God with all your heart, mind and soul. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life.
Through spending so much meaningful time with God, He began giving me a much deeper and absolute unconditional love for my husband. And at the same time, my reality began revolving around God and not around a person. I experienced complete forgiveness towards my husband. An absolutely liberating experience.
Nevertheless, he did continue with his Pornography struggle. Out of frustration, I approached our church leaders for help. Not realising at the time that seeking help should come from him and not from me, on behalf of him. Any person with an addiction can only be helped if they themselves want to be helped. Some family members also tried to assist, but it was in vain – He eventually took his own life.
Throughout the two to three years of this addiction struggle, I could see the debilitating effects it had on him – He wasn’t able to maintain a normal conversation with anyone; He couldn’t keep a job for more than a couple of months; His concentration span was abnormally short; His Pornography addiction also lead to another form of addiction – alcoholism.
Consequently, I learnt that during those years, I was trying to be his “saviour”, instead of simply taking up my role as a wife – to respect, uplift and honour her husband. Having said that, I know that in our weakness and sin, God also works. None of us are responsible for another person’s choices. God loves us so much that He has given us the freedom of choice. It is, however, up to us to choose correctly. We cannot take responsibility for another person’s choices. It also showed me, first-hand, that heroes can also fall.
Pornography is one of the biggest threats to our minds, our wellbeing, our relationships and our families. Since this episode in my life, I’ve desired to help combat Pornography and all factors that link in with it – such as Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.
I am grateful that I can share this testimony with you – share with you what I experienced, as well as the mistakes I made, and the mistakes my late husband made. I know that it all was not in vain.
I hope my story will inform, encourage and help others.
Should you need help with an addiction to Pornography or suspect any form of Human Trafficking, please contact us here.